If you get the Professional version of Windows 7, you can use the free XP Mode which runs as a task under Windows 7 and will run most of your XP-only programs. It doesn't require rebooting and normally starts up in 30 seconds or so. The only real drawback to it is somewhat limited graphics, so it's not good for high speed games. Just about anything else will work very well with it though. Be aware that Windows 8 has no XP Mode though.
The programs you downloaded can be copied to a flash drive or external hard drive for reinstallation on the new computer, so that shouldn't be a problem.
I'm about to migrate from a Windows XP 32 bit desktop to a Windows 7 64 bit all-in-one desktop via an external hard drive hopefully using Windows Easy Transfer. I know programs have to be installed manually using the original program disc(s). What about programs originally downloaded (with no CD) but for which I have licences and relevant "exe" files, how will these transfer or will it be necessary to contact the relevant suppliers and download again?
One invaluable/irreplaceable data base program, Classic Collector, I use for cataloging my extensive CD collection was originally supplied on floppy disks in 1993. The most recent update was in 2000 via download. I successfully migrated from Windows 98 and then to the current Windows XP on which I installed a floppy disk drive specifically to cater for it. I'm not that technically savvy and have been told it will not be possible to effect a migration either directly or manually. There's an added complication in that the private developer of the program is now too ill to service it any more but has made it available as a free download. Understandably not wishing to main two desktop PCs I was hoping I might still be able to find a Windows XP laptop that would be dedicated to the program but no success. Other currently available CD cataloging programs I've traced are not as comprehensive as Classic Collector and despite the fact that I have on and off-site back-ups do not seem able to cope without using csv files.
Given the limitations of alternative programs and in any case not looking forward to the prospect of keying data for 3000+ CDs I would appreciate advice on any possible solutions.